Floating hotel bid in Leith gets £5m boost

MV Fingal - which is to be converted into a floating hotel. Artists impression of the Ballroom

A PROJECT aiming to turn a former lighthouse ship in Leith into a luxury floating hotel has been handed a funding boost thanks to bank Santander ­Corporate and Commercial.

The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust says the seven-figure ­revamp of the MV Fingal will create a “world class destination” on the capital’s waterfront as a boutique hotel and events space.

The total project cost is £5 million, funded by five-star visitor attraction Britannia’s trading company, Royal Yacht Enterprises.

The initiative aims to cater for strong demand for high-calibre, quality entertainment space, turning it into a five-star hotel offering corporate hospitality and events such as weddings.

Bob Downie, chief executive of the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, said: “We have to unfortunately turn away a significant amount of business for Britannia as we are limited to ­evenings only.

“The restoration and refit of the Fingal into a five-star venue in keeping with the level of luxury expected of a royal palace, gives us the opportunity to have daytime functions which can tie in with an evening function on Britannia if desired.”

He added: “We are creating a unique hotel proposition to complement our unique tourist attraction.”

The refurbishment of the 237ft ship will accommodate a grand ‘double-height’ ballroom with room for around 80 guests, 23 luxury cabins and first class facilities throughout.

Guests will be able to choose from a luxury cabin with private deck, a duplex cabin with comfortable living space or the stunning Skerryvore Suite with extensive outdoor space to relax and entertain.

All 23 cabins are named after the famous Stevenson lighthouses and reflect Fingal’s rich maritime heritage.

More than 400,000 people came to Leith to visit the nearby Royal Yacht Britannia in 2017 alone, according to figures ­released by the trust earlier this year.

Kirsty Johnston, relationship director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Britannia is one of the most famous ships in the world, and we are absolutely delighted to be working with such a prestigious client.”

She added that the trust team has brought the same level of passion it has for Britannia to Fingal “and that manifests itself in the attention to detail and the design of the project”.

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